How to Score Music and Family Fun This Summer: Toledo Opera Events

Performances of Blue runs from August 26-28.

Opera, opera everywhere — even for the kids! This spring and summer offer a plethora of options for introducing the family to opera, or getting your opera fix in a different location.

The opera’s flagship educational program, Opera On Wheels, is completing its 2021-2022 schedule on May 27, running in-school, K-8 presentations of The Stylist of Seville, an adaptation of the beloved comic opera The Barber of Seville

The 2021-2022 performances of The Stylist of Seville from Opera on Wheels. Performances run through May 27.

“Each year our resident artists (including Grace Wipfli, Katherine Kincaid, Fran Daniel Laucerica and Andrew Payne in 2021-2022), along with pianist Mercy Olson, adapt an opera for children,” explained Rachael Cammarn, communications and patron services coordinator with the Opera. The opera is 40-50 minutes in length, and the Opera also develops a study guide for the schools to use. “We perform for about 20,000 students during each program year,” Cammarn said. 

Established in the early 1990s, Opera on Wheels tours to over 60 schools in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan each fall and spring. In Toledo, Buckeye Broadband sponsors the tour to all Toledo Public Schools elementary schools, and Marathon Petroleum Corporation sponsors the tour to Hancock County schools.

And coming this fall? “Next year’s production, with our new resident artists, will be The Pirates of Penzance,” said Cammarn.

The 2021-2022 performances of The Stylist of Seville from Opera on Wheels. Performances run through May 27.

Bringing Blue to the community

Toledo Opera’s performance of Blue, originally scheduled for February, will be presented August 26 and 28. Blue was introduced shortly before the pandemic, and named best new opera by the Music Critics Association of North America. It’s a riveting story of an African American couple in Harlem who are raising their young son. As the boy grows into a young man, his father, a police officer, prepares him for today’s realities.

According to Alyssa Greenberg, PhD, the Opera’s community engagement director, Blue will be the feature of Student Night at the Opera for a special dress rehearsal Aug. 24 at the Valentine Theatre. Middle and high school students (grades 6-12) are invited to this performance, sponsored by the Lucas County Commissioners. In addition, Blue will be the subject of other special events this summer:

August 11, 9am to 4pm: Blue Day at Mott Branch Library, WGTE On The Road. The stars and creatives behind the upcoming opera will perform musical selections and read storybooks aloud.

August 19, 7pm: Preserving the African American Legacy in Law Enforcement. The Toledo Police Museum, 2201 Kenwood Blvd., will be the setting for presentations, the Black and Blue exhibition and an opera performance in support of the upcoming opera Blue. Presented by the African American Police League, the Toledo Police Museum and the Toledo Opera.

Opera inside and out

During May, the Toledo Opera is presenting a series of free pop-up live performances at outdoor community hubs throughout Toledo. The Opera’s resident artists perform iconic vocal selections from the classic opera repertoire, along with music theater and other American standards. Remaining performances include:

Toledo Botanical Garden, Metroparks Toledo, Old Jazz Stage, near Conference Center

  • May 18 and 25 beginning at 6pm
  • Select Wednesdays in August

Toledo Farmers’ Market

  • May 21 beginning at 10
  • Select Saturdays in August

Visit the Toledo Opera for more information and updated schedules of family events for this summer and fall.